Paris, May 5, 2011 — Alstom inaugurated a bearing factory in Vadodara in the state of Gujarat, India. The factory will manufacture bearings for medium to large size hydropower projects, including large turbine and generator thrust bearings, guide bearings and shaft seals to cater to the hydropower sector both in India and abroad.
Alstom's bearing technologies are developed as an integrated part of the hydro generator system. Thrust bearings tolerate much higher impact loads, without damage or performance degradation, and significantly reduce friction, enabling higher load/speed combinations, cooler operation and extended operational life.
With an area of over 6,150 square meters, the site is Alstom's most advanced bearing production facility. Employing around 200 people, it will reach a full production capacity of 40 sets of bearings and shaft seals per year by 2012 to 2013.
The factory respects internationally recognized standards for environmentally sustainable design. Its energy-efficient characteristics include heat-insulated panels, a fume extraction system, underwater plasma cutting machines to reduce noise pollution, a rainwater recycling system, a liquefied petroleum gas heated furnace to ensure zero pollution, skylights and turbo ventilators to take full advantage of the natural light and air, and demand controlled Variable Refrigerant Flow air conditioning systems to increase indoor air quality.
The Vadodara site is also home to one of Alstom's biggest hydropower manufacturing sites as well as Alstom's Global Technology Centre for the testing of Pelton turbines, commonly used in the Indian hydro market.
The GTC develops highly innovative integrated products and technologies for new and rehabilitation projects. The hydro factory recently dispatched the biggest Kaplan Runner for Uganda and delivered the major equipment for India's largest dam — the 2,000 MW Subansiri Hydro Power Project located in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
India was one of the pioneering countries in establishing hydroelectric power plants with the first dam established at Darjeeling and Shimsha in 1898 and 1902 respectively. The installed capacity of hydroelectric power plants in the country as of March 2011 is around 37,570 MW.